Doomwyte: A Novel of Redwall
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On a moonless night, two rats follow hypnotic lights into the forest, never to be seen again. Such is the power of the Doomwytes, sinister ravens led by the deadly Korvus Skurr. And when the young mouse Bisky persuades the creatures of Redwall to go in search of a fabled treasure, hidden long ago by one of the abbey's most notorious thieves, they do not suspect Skurr and his ravens will be vying for the same prize. . . .
Bisky watched his granduncle artfully weaving dried reeds and stripping away broken ones. “Tell me somethin’, Grandunk, how did you come to find out about this rhyme?” Samolus trimmed the reed ends with his sharp blade. “Oh, ’twasn’t too hard, though it happened quite by accident. When I was readin’ through Lady Columbine’s diary, she wrote that as a joke, she often called Gonff the Pom. When he asked her why, she kept him in the dark. Then one day he guessed, the first letters. Prince of
a right braw beastie, an’ finely learnit. Lissen the noo, frae this very-day, iffen anybeast speaks ill of ye, or mocks ye, they’ll answer tae the Laird Bosie McScutta o’ Bowlaynee. Ye can tak’ mah word on that!” When the excitement had died down, Abbot Glisam bade everybeast to assemble in Cavern Hole, where he addressed them. “I think it would be wise for us all to spend the remainder of the night down here. Bisky, Dwink, would you please see that there are plenty of blankets and pillows
with the tree canopy overhead shielding any star or moonlight, making the woodlands a realm of total darkness. Dubble laughed nervously. “If’n ye see any twinklin’ lights tryin’ to lead us someplace, ignore ’em mate, they’re trouble.” Bisky gripped his friend’s paw firmly. “They’re worse than trouble, mate, they’re Wytes.” It was still dark when they emerged into a clearing. Bisky splashed into a tiny streamlet which flowed through it. Immediately they threw themselves down, drinking the cold,
move in a sideways direction. Climbing higher, he dropped neatly down into the outspread limbs of a holm oak. Now he was next door to the elm. Unwinding the sling, he loaded it with a stone from his belt pouch. Some of the elm branches were almost touching the holm oak. Scarcely daring to breathe, Dwink crossed from one tree into the other. His paws were trembling slightly, but he carried on upward, telling himself, “I’ll show the blighter how a Redwall warrior operates!” When he was as close as
amidst raucous cheers from the Dibbuns. Panting for breath, Umfry called to Friar Skurpul, “Three more for tea h’if ye please!” Sister Violet served them, loading plates with plum tart, almond slice, honeyed nutbread and fresh fruit. She topped up their beakers with dandelion and burdock cordial, chilled from the cellars. As they ate, Dwink related what Martin the Warrior had said in his dream. Perrit lowered her voice, trying to contain her excitement. “Listen, Umfry, if you’re still working